The UNCTAD Division of Investment and Enterprise (DIAE) and the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) jointly establish an award for the best early-career academic research work on international investment law and development. The award is reserved to PhD students or early-career researchers with no more than five years of professional experience. 

UNCTAD and SIEL invite contributions that provide state-of-the-art knowledge and analysis of the national and international legal frameworks and practices related to cross-border investment, and their impact on development, including its economic, social, environmental or institutional aspects.

Reflecting the core value propositions of UNCTAD’s research mandate, the winning papers should meet the following criteria: 1) original and innovative research; 2) topical issues with a discussion of policy implication; and 3) focus on development (i.e. how to ensure that international investment and multinational enterprises contribute to sustainable development). The paper must not have been previously published. Co-authorship is permitted provided all authors meet the stated conditions.

The Award is biennial and the first one will be conferred during the SIEL Conference in Milan, in July 2020.

For more detailed information please see the official rules here.


  • The “UNCTAD-SIEL Award for Research on Investment and Development” to be officially conferred at the SIEL Biennial Conference.
  • Invitation to apply for a three-month consultancy contract at UNCTAD’s Division of Investment and Enterprise to work based on a mutually agreed timing. The contract will be issued in line with UN rules and regulations. 
  • Invitation to publish the winning paper in the peer-reviewed UN JournalTransnational Corporations, subject to the standard procedures.


  • James Zhan, Director, Division of Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD (james.zhan@un.org) or Diana Rosert, Economic Affairs Officer, IIA Section, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD (diana.rosert@un.org).
  • Peter L.H. Van den Bossche, President, Society of International Economic Law (peter.vandenbossch@wti.org) or Federico Ortino, Executive Council Member, Society of International Economic Law (federico.ortino@kcl.ac.uk).

    Selection Process:

  • The submitted papers will be evaluated by a Review Panel consisting of the UNCTAD DIAE leadership and eminent academics, including members of SIEL.

Submission Deadline: extended to 31 January 2020 (originally 1 December 2019)

Submissions must include:

(a) paper (not exceeding 10,000 words and following the Transnational Corporations style sheet)

(b) author(s)’s CV and

(c) an abstract (not longer than 300 words).

Submission must be sent to unctad-siel-award@unctad.org